One of the most important signals your web pages sends to Google search engine is the URL structure. Knowing this, always include your most important keywords in the URL portion of your web pages.
What is URL Structure?
URL (uniform resource locator (also known as URI uniform resource identifier)) structure is the way you name and group folders and files within your website into logical grouping.
Most Search Engine Optimization experts will tell you that URL structure of your website is highly important, however, what they won’t tell you is that its actually not smart to think of SEO or even Google rankings when you begin naming your web pages, instead, think of your website visitors and how the web pages will make sense to them and also how they would navigate throughout your site.
What would be the most easiest way for you to group your files and media types for your website visitors?
Consider this always before structuring your URL’s. For example: if my website generated URL’s as:
That wouldn’t make sense to someone visiting my website. However, if that URL structure was this:
That would be more meaningful for my website visitors, and Google is no different when its trying to understand your website by analysing your website’s naming structure and web page contents.
Targeting Keywords Through URL’s
Let us say that I wanted to target and rank Affordable SEO Services as my keywords, then I could either:
- Register a domain name for these keywords affordableseoservices.com.au and fully search engine optimize the new site according to these keywords as well as other keywords which could be stemmed from Affordable SEO Services
When is the Above Option Useful
Anytime you register Exact Match Domain, then branding goes out the window and you are trading rankings for branding. If branding isn’t your goal on internet, then by all means use this option.
Above option can also be utilized for additional avenue for traffic generation as well as content marketing for relevant backlinking opportunities. As long as you understand that you create each and every website for the best interest of real people visiting your EMD site.
Other Options for Naming Web Pages
I could use these keywords in the URL portion of a web document like so affordable_seo_services.html (or PHP) as file extension doesn’t really matter and still rank higher in Google.
Or I could create a HTML folder and name it as rankya.com.au/affordable-seo-services/ and this would then allow me to stem different keywords from within this folder. For instance: rankya.com.au/affordable-seo-services/for-small-business.html and then optimize that web page for Affordable SEO Services for Small Business. Because as long as the keyword is mentioned in the URL once, then that’s good enough for your top Google rankings.
Here’s a Video That Explains How to Create SEO Friendly URL Structure
URL Length for Search Engine Optimization
The best length of the URL is still debated, my own tests and experience tells me that the length can be fairly long as long as the content is original and useful for your website visitors. However, it is much better to group pages through creating logical folders and use keywords in the folder names itself.
Modifying .htaccess for SEO Friendly URL’s
Depending on the Content Management Systems you are using and the server setup of your web hosting, you may be able to tweak .htaccess file to create SEO friendly URL’s. Here’s a great resource that explains the htaccess modification for better web page naming.
WordPress Tips: (use with caution) you can browse into your Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks > Custom Structure >
Changing the WordPress Permalinks can have unintended consequences for your website’s current Google rankings, so use with caution, and plan well before you modify your permalink structure.
At the end of the day, the best way to name your web pages will depend on the size of your website, as well as your ability to group parts of your website in logical folder structure that allows room for stemming different keywords from the ones you already are, or will be targeting.
Are you aware of better naming convention for your web page names? If so, then let us know using the commenting system below.